(Headline USA) An 8-year-old boy became the sixth person to die Tuesdayafter a violent black supremacist drove his SUV into a suburban Milwaukee Christmas parade.
According to a GoFundMe page set up for the family of Jackson Sparks, both he and his 12-year-old brother, Tucker, were injured in the massacre.
“The entire family is devastated and their parents, Aaron and Sheri, are at the bedsides of their children who are both at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin,” wrote the boys’ cousin, Alyssa Albro, in a post Monday.
“Tucker, is recovering, but sustained road rash and a fractured skull. They are closely monitoring his head and spine. He is stable at this time,” she said. “Jackson, age 8, underwent brain surgery on Sunday evening.”
At the time of the post, the family was still hoping for a miracle, but sadly he later succumbed to his injuries.
As of Wednesday morning, more than 7,300 people had donated more than $318,000 to help the family with their expenses.
Meanwhile, Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, was charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, a charge that carries a mandatory life sentence if convicted.
A criminal complaint alleged that he steered side-to-side with the intent of striking marchers and spectators.
Brooks rocked back and forth in his seat and cried throughout his court hearing on Tuesday, his attorney’s arm on his back, as the charges against him were detailed. His bail was set at $5 million, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Jan. 14.
“The nature of this offense is shocking,” said Waukesha Court Commissioner Kevin Costello.
Additional charges related to the sixth death and the more than 60 people injured will be coming later this week or next, said Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper. T
he criminal complaint said 62 people were injured, up from the 48 previously announced by police.
Brooks is accused of speeding away from police and entering the Waukesha Christmas parade on Sunday night, refusing to stop even as an officer banged on the hood of his SUV. Another officer fired three shots into the vehicle, but it did not stop.
Five people ranging in age from 52 to 81 were pronounced dead within hours. All were affiliated with a performance troupe known as the Dancing Grannies.
The city’s livestream video and bystander video captured the chaotic scene when an SUV sped along the parade route and then into the crowd. Several of those injured remain in critical condition.
According to the criminal complaint, witnesses told police that the vehicle “appeared to be intentionally moving side to side,” with no attempt to slow down or stop as it struck multiple people and sent bodies and objects flying.
Brooks ignored several attempts to stop him, according to the criminal complaint.
A detective—wearing police insignia and a neon orange safety vest—stepped in front of Brooks’ vehicle and pounded on the hood, shouting “Stop,” several times but Brooks drove past him, according to the complaint.
A uniformed police officer who saw Brooks’ SUV traveling toward the parade route also tried to get his attention, yelling “Stop, stop the vehicle” several times but was ignored, according to the complaint. The officer “observed the driver looking straight ahead, directly at him, and it appeared he had no emotion on his face,” the complaint said.
Brooks braked at one point, but instead of turning away from the parade route, he turned into the crowd and appeared to rapidly accelerate, the complaint said.
Another police officer shot at the vehicle, striking it three times as it entered the parade route. Brooks was not hit by the bullets, the Waukesha police chief said Monday.
The complaint said one witness who spoke with police said the SUV “continued to drive in a zig zag motion. It was like the SUV was trying to avoid vehicles, not people. There was no attempt made by the vehicle to stop, much less slow down.”
Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said Brooks was leaving the scene of a domestic dispute that had taken place just minutes earlier when he drove into the parade route.
He had been free on $1,000 bail for a case in Milwaukee County earlier in November in which he’s accused of intentionally striking a woman with his car. Prosecutors said they’re investigating their bail recommendation in that case, calling it inappropriately low.
Brooks has been charged with crimes more than a dozen times since 1999, mostly in Wisconsin but also in Georgia and Nevada, and had two outstanding cases against him at the time of the parade disaster. That included resisting or obstructing an officer, reckless endangering, disorderly conduct, bail jumping and battery for the Nov. 2 incident.
Thompson said that there was no evidence the bloodshed Sunday was an organized terrorist attack or that Brooks knew anyone in the parade. Brooks acted alone, the chief said.
However, members of the group Black Lives Matter hinted on Monday that the event might have been linked with the recent acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse in nearby Kenosha.
Black Lives Matter activist Vaun L Mayes @YungLz at the scene of the Waukesha parade attack:
“It sounds like the revolution has started,” mentions hearing from a source who believes Darrell Brooks may have been motivated by the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict.pic.twitter.com/ayp3BjbfZ7
— Nobody (@TheNoboddy) November 22, 2021
NBC News published doorbell camera footage that appeared to capture Brooks’ arrest. It showed Brooks, shivering in just a T-shirt, knocking on a homeowner’s door and asking for help calling for a ride. Moments later, police surrounded the house and shouted, “Hands up!” Brooks, standing on the porch, held up his hands and said, “Whoa whoa whoa!”
Hundreds gathered at a downtown park Monday night in Waukesha, Wisconsin, for a candlelight vigil in honor of those lost and hurt. A pair of clergy solemnly read the names of those who died. Volunteers handed out sandwiches, hot chocolate and candles at the vigil, which was attended by interfaith leaders and elected officials.
“We are parents. We are neighbors. We are hurting. We are angry. We are sad. We are confused. We are thankful. We are all in this together. We are Waukesha Strong,” said a tearful Amanda Medina Roddy with the Waukesha school district.
Mayor Shawn Reilly described the parade as a “Norman Rockwell-type” event that “became a nightmare.”
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press